Electrical Fire Safety Week 2022
We want to make sure our customers are safe in their homes and know what dangers to look out for in their day to day lives.
Over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity so for Electrical Fire Safety Week, we’re looking at some of the most common causes so you can prevent one from starting in your home.
Overloaded extension leads
Do you have a lot of extension leads in your home? If used incorrectly, these can cause fires. Extension leads can overheat if you have too many appliances plugged in at once or if they are plugged into another extension lead. Tightly wound wires can also cause issues; heat can build-up and lead to a fire.
A common problem which can often go unnoticed is frayed cables. This is often caused by pets chewing through wires or cables being in places where they rub against the corners of furniture and get worn down.
Damaged cables are more likely to spark, which can lead to fires in your home. It’s really important to regularly check your cables, especially ones that are out of sight, to make sure they are in good condition.
E-bikes and E-scooters
E-bikes and scooters are generally powered by Lithium batteries which can be charged in the home. This can become a fire hazard if not done carefully.
Make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging your batteries and try to charge them when you’re awake, so that you can quickly respond to a fire if it occurs. These devices can get very hot when charging so keep them away from any materials that can catch fire and make sure they aren’t covered by fabrics like clothing or bedding.
Some devices that are made outside of the EU can be manufactured differently or might not meet our safety standards. It can be dangerous to use these devices in your home as they can cause the electricity to trip or in the worst cases spark a fire. Check any non-EU devices comply with UK voltages (240 V). Where possible, try to buy electrical items from well-known companies.
Portable heaters and electric blankets are popular alternatives to turning on the heating. However, they can be dangerous if not used with caution.
- Portable heaters should be kept at least 1m away from you and your furniture in an area where they are unlikely to get knocked over. Make sure they are switched off and have cooled down before you move them. You should never place anything like damp clothing over portable heaters as this can lead to a fire.
- Electric blankets should be tested by an expert every 3 years to make sure they are still safe to use. Their wiring can be easily damaged, so always inspect them before using them. You should roll them up rather than fold them as this helps prevent damage to the wire. Never leave your electric blanket on for long periods of time, or overnight. Instead, use it to heat your bed before you get in and switch it off before you go to sleep.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Switch off any electrical appliances or items you aren’t using (this helps to save energy as well)
- Don’t use a bulb with a higher wattage than what’s on your light fitting – this can trip the electricity
- Never take mains-powered electrical items into the bathroom such as hair dryers or straighteners
- Make sure you know where your fuse box is so you can turn the mains switch off in an emergency or reset the electricity if something trips it
- Let us know if you spot someone using the communal electricity as it could lead to overloaded sockets and switches
We complete electrical checks in your home before you move in and every 5 years after that. We also check communal areas every 2 years. We’ll check things like sockets, light fittings, smoke alarms and wiring.
These checks are really important as they keep you and your home safe. We’ll let you know when your safety check is in advance, so please make sure someone over the age of 18 is available to let us in.
Visit our electrical safety page if you’d like out find out more.